Gas Station Manager Cemal Dagdeviren killed

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Suspect Sought In Hit-Run Death Of Long Island Gas Station Manager

January 15, 2019 - 12:58 pm

SOUTH HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- The family of a gas station manager struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver who took off after refusing to pay for gas is pleading for the public's help to catch the suspect.

A makeshift memorial of candles, flowers and even toy trucks and cars is growing at the Pit Stop Gas Station on Grand Avenue in South Hempstead, which remains closed a day after 59-year-old manager Cemal Dagdeviren (pictured above) was killed.

Authorities said a man in a dark-colored SUV with no license plates ran over and killed Dagdeviren just before 7:30 a.m. Monday because the driver did not want to pay the $22 worth of gas.

Gas station manager killed
Sophia Hall/WCBS 880
Dagdeviren, a married father of two who lived in Levittown, worked at the station for 25 years and was a pillar of the community. Clutching a photo of her husband, Dagdeviren's widow was too upset to speak about the loss of her husband.

"Everybody in that area knows him and a lot of people actually love him," his son, Ali, told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall.

"He helped everybody and he didn't live in the neighborhood, but he was like a member of the neighborhood. I don't think there's anything bad that you could say about him," one longtime customer said. "Anything happened to your car, even if it was at your house, he would come over and check it out. He was very nice."

The vehicle fled the scene and was last seen heading south on Grand Avenue. The suspect remains on the run.

Dagdeviren's son is pleading for anyone who knows anything about the suspect to come forward and call the authorities.

"He's a dangerous guy. If anybody knows anything about the person I think they should call 911," he said. "I'm sure he will do anything to anybody, there's a lot of kids outside. He could do anything."

Detectives are asking anyone with information to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.  All callers will remain anonymous.